Minister Input on Springbok Emblem, Sports Indaba, Olympics, Sport & Recreation SA Annual Report 2007/08

Sports, Arts and Culture

21 October 2008
Chairperson: Mr BM Komphela (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

The Committee discussed the Springbok emblem. The Minister of Sport and Recreation said that both the Springbok and King Protea were trademarks owned by the Department of Sport and Recreation. The South African Rugby Union was in fact in default of royalty payments and legal action was being taken. The Committee passed a resolution by a majority vote that it recognised the King Protea as the only emblem for national sports teams and directed the South African Rugby Union to cease its illegal use of the Springbok emblem. Opposition members felt that this matter should rather be the subject of a separate discussion as it was not on the agenda for this meeting.

The resolutions taken at the Sports Indaba in Durban would be referred to the Committee. The first draft was of poor quality so the Minister had requested that a second draft be prepared by the end of October. He was shocked to hear that the Department had outsourced the preparation of this document.

The Minister in presenting the Annual Report said that there was still much to do in terms of transformation and reconciliation. Racism was still present but was not the sole preserve of white people. More resources were needed and he repeated the call for money from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant and the National Lottery to be channelled through the Department of Sport and Recreation. A more streamlined approach was needed for the Mass Participation Programme. South Africa had taken a leading role in the World Anti-Doping Agency but was now to play a lesser role.

In the afternoon, the Department’s Chief Financial Officer, who was also Acting Director General, presented the Annual Report in more detail. He outlined the reasons for the Auditor General giving a qualified audit report. These matters included poor asset control, illegitimate bonuses, payments for unused leave, unauthorised expenditure. The Committee closely questioned the reasons for these problems and the subsequent remedial actions.

 

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed the Minister and Deputy Minister. He stressed the importance of completing the hearings on the Annual Report of the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) before the end of the parliamentary session. The report was a political rather than an administrative issue. The national department was speaking a different language to that of the provincial counterparts. The provinces had been called to explain the expenditure patterns at their level. Five of them had spent less than 50% of their allocated funds, and he wanted to know where the problem lay.

He wished to raise one particular issue. The Committee had received a letter from a group of attorneys in Pretoria acting on behalf of Afriforum. The Committee would deal with the letter. Afriforum had made a complaint to the Equality Court relating to a statement made by Mr Komphela at the Sports Indaba in Durban.

The Chairperson said that another letter had been received from the Ubumbo rugby club based at the University of Cape Town (UCT). They had been appalled at the turn of events following a meeting they had held with Springbok rugby player Luke Watson. They had sent a letter to Mr Watson expressing their regret at the sensational misrepresentation of events at this meeting. No racism had been intended. They had invited people from different backgrounds to attend their discussions. No party politics were involved. The recording of the proceedings at this private gathering had been made illegally, and they felt this was part of a bigger campaign. The Committee had asked what had happened at the meeting. A series of letters had been received from different people in this regard.

Mr Komphela said that the Committee needed a briefing on what had transpired at the Sports Indaba. After the statement made on the Springbok emblem at this gathering, many people had written to the Committee to plead for its retention. A letter from Mr Oregan Hoskins, President of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) had written to say that the Springbok was not relevant to apartheid. It was a brand as much as a commercial company like Coca Cola. The Springbok was respected around the world. Mr Hoskins felt that the Springbok united the nation, and the tax money spent on this debate should rather be channelled into housing and the provision of sports facilities in rural areas.

The Chairperson needed to be convinced that the Springbok was not an apartheid racist symbol. The ANC’s opinion was justified but they were prepared to discuss it with anybody. Decisions had been taken in 2004 and again in December 2007. There was no question about it. People were arguing out of passion rather than on the resolutions made in 1992. This was incorrect.

He welcomed a letter received from Mr Donald Lee who was the DA’s spokesman on sport. It contained an important document which was that party’s policy on sport, and made inputs on sport, access to facilities and transformation. It was good to see such a concrete document rather than mere talk. The ANC would take up the good points made in the document. Sport was about all the people of the country.

Mr N Dikgacwi (ANC) requested the Minister to brief the meeting on the indaba. It had been a conference of sports activists, not an ANC conference to generate resolutions. It had been agreed unanimously that the Springbok must go. After the conference the Minister and the Chairperson of the Committee had been called in by the ANC and chastised over their statements. This was strange. The issue had been discussed at the ANC conference and a resolution had been made. He asked why utterances were being made from within SRSA and the Ministry.

The Chairperson said that these points would be added to the programme of the meeting. He asked if there were any other points. There was no response to this.

Mr D Lee (DA) said that his party was holding a caucus meeting at 12h00.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) said that the Committee would be meeting until 13h00. The meeting would be continued after Members had attended the budget speech of the Minister of Finance in the National Assembly. He did not want to cloud the issues. The indaba had been a well-attended, progressive conference. There had been some sense in the implementation of resolutions, which would lie in the hands of SRSA and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

The Chairperson said that the meeting would continue until 13h00. On resumption it would continue until 22h00 and resume the following day. There was movement in SRSA on resources. It would not be a nice meeting as it would be robust.

Address by Minister of Sport and Recreation
Minister Stofile said that one of his setbooks in high school was a poetry anthology in which there was a Rudyard Kipling poem entitled “If”. He remembered a line which said that the mark of a man was being able to keep his head when all about him were losing theirs. Government could not lose its mind as it had a leadership role when the rest of society was losing its head. This was a reflection on what was happening. He also thanked the DA for its sports policy document. The new President wanted all South Africans to participate in his government. In some cases the DA policies replicated those of the ANC, such as the need to spread resources, attend to the needs of communities and to ring-fence funds.

Rev Stofile said that he had been informed on 10 October that Ms Jessie Duarte had said that the ANC would never want to see the Springbok being discarded. He had disputed this, and had asked his media personnel to investigate and obtain an extract of her statement. This revealed that she had said that proper discussions on the issue should be held first. There was a need to discuss the modality of the resolution. Nobody in the ANC could make the statement that was attributed to Ms Duarte, as the matter had already been pronounced upon as a conference resolution. He now had the text of her statement and it was clear that the report was a distortion of what she had said. He and Mr Komphela had not been summonsed to appear before the ANC.

He noted that few Members of Parliament had been in attendance at the Sports Indaba in Durban. Instead, most of the attendees were serious sport activists and leaders. The Sports Indaba had not been a “mickey mouse” conference. Commentators showed total ignorance in making such comments. He outlined his experience as a player and administrator in various sports codes. This indaba had not been different to others.

The Minister said that he had also attended a conference arranged by the Scientific Support Directorate to discuss the report on the performance of Team South Africa at the Beijing Olympics. The analysis of the team’s performance had to be based on science rather than anecdotal utterances. Very few commentators really knew what they were talking about and statements being made were the result of the pain being felt by some people. Sport had a role in uniting the nation, but in the aftermath of the mediocre results at the Olympics, people were united in sorrow. They were adults expressing an opinion but the leadership must be focussed. An interesting discussion had resulted. The opinions were by and large unanimous. The South African situation must not be compared to those of Australia, the United Kingdom and others. This would be a big mistake. Team Great Britain had performed poorly at the Atlanta Games in 1996, but had turned this around due to a massive investment in sport. The same had happened in China. The amounts spent on athletes in South Africa and other countries could not be compared. It was ludicrous to expect South Africa to be on the same level as other countries. Administration of sport had to be placed in the hands of professional people. Professor Tim Noakes had made the point that part-time volunteers would not be able to achieve the levels required.

Of the issues raised at the Durban Indaba, the Springbok matter had made the headlines even though the discussion on this topic had lasted less than one hour. Profound resolutions had been reached on a range of issues including transformation. People were talking from ignorance. He pointed out that the Springbok had ceased to be the national sport emblem in 1991 when a decision had been taken at the Springbok Hotel in Port Elizabeth to adopt the King Protea instead. Other options which had been put forward were the kingfisher and the kudu. Rugby had been represented there by both the then South African Rugby Board (SARB) and South African Rugby Union.

Minister Stofile said that the issue of the Springbok emblem had also been addressed at the rugby unity conference which had been held in Kimberley in April 1992. The President of SARB at the time, Dr Danie Craven, had asked that the issue not be resolved at the time and a committee had been formed to take the issue forward. The Springbok was the emblem used by the SARB, while the then SARU used the Protea and the South African Rugby Association used the Leopard.

In response to comments made by Afriforum, he said that they knew little about sport. They had released a statement saying that white people were not allowed to play soccer. He had served on the unified SARB and had first-hand experience of decisions which had been taken. A compromise emblem had been designed which was a combination of the Springbok and the King Protea. This had been accepted for a five year period. Some changes had been made to the design. The current design was that of the leaping Springbok with the King Protea above it.

The Minister said that many South Africans did not know who owned the emblem. The ownership of the Springbok and Protea emblems rested with SRSA and not with any federation or anyone else. This was SRSA’s own trademark by law. In fact, the SARU was using the Springbok illegally as their contract to do so had expired and they had not applied for a renewal. He had hoped to meet with SARU that day, but the rugby body had cancelled the meeting.

The Minister said that he could not have been a Springbok in his days as a player. In fact he and two others had been invited to play for the Springboks against England in the 1970s, but they had refused the invitation. To this day some people were still saying that the Springbok was not for black people.

Minister Stofile said that a first draft of the resolutions made at the indaba in Durban had been prepared but he had rejected them due to the poor quality of the document. He wanted to distribute the resolution to the federations before the end of October.

He noted that there was also an Umbumbo company with the same name as the UCT rugby club. He did not believe that players would strike because of the utterances alleged to Mr Watson. There was not always agreement on the definition of merit. It would be wrong if Mr Watson were not selected for the team because of what he was alleged to have said. Players must avoid politics. Old politics should never be discussed as this was like a dragnet to progress. Politics should be left to the politicians, but sportspeople could not use politicians when they were in a difficult situation. Young people should be quiet and concentrate on the sport itself while the politicians concentrated on the political side. There should be engagement on these matters.

Discussion
Mr T Louw (ANC) thanked the Minister for his clarification on the matter of the Springbok. After the Sports Indaba the correct forum to address the resolutions made there would be Parliament, and this Committee in particular. The resolutions should be referred to the Committee to see how they could be implemented.

Gen B Holomisa (UDM) said that these were not new matters for some. The reality was that the then National Sports Council (NSC) had decided as far back as 1986 that the Springbok emblem should be discarded. He had been a member of Cabinet when Mr Steve Tshwete was the Minister of Sport. There had been extensive lobbying in favour of the Springbok and a decision had been taken to retain it. If the government did indeed hold the trademark then the decision to continue to use the Springbok should be rescinded. He asked who should take this decision. If SRSA did not implement a resolution which could be traced back to the NSC, then the issue would always come back to haunt them. He was not aware that the emblem was regarded as a trademark. The decision should be approved by the President rather than individuals. SRSA should set this out in a memorandum to the President who could direct the Committee to deal with the matter and hold hearings. He asked why the decision to stop the usage of the Springbok had not been implemented.

Mr Lee said that if the Committee wished to discuss the Springbok then this should have been placed on the agenda as an additional issue. A dedicated meeting was necessary to address this matter. He had his views on the matter and they should be in his party’s policy document. A decision should be made on the emblem which would best represent the country. The Springbok was a powerful symbol. If SRSA owned the rights to its use, he hoped that they would look after it better than other affairs at the Department, which had received a qualified audit report. The Springbok was not mentioned in the SRSA Annual Report. If people were losing their heads, then perhaps some straight thinking was needed.

The Chairperson said that this is why he had requested Members to raise additional agenda items. Nobody had been opposed to this. National emblems were one aspect of transformation and were therefore not a separate item. The Minister was committed to a meeting on the issue and this would be discussed. No dissenting voices had been raised. The Committee would find a date for the engagement.

Mr Lee thanked the Chairperson for recognising his party’s policy document.

The Chairperson replied that this was the spirit in which this Committee operated.

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) asked about non-compliant bodies. If the contract for the usage of the Springbok had expired, then she wished to know what measures were in place to correct this situation. This would not have been an issue if SRSA had done its work properly. The Polokwane resolution on the emblem was a clear outline of policy. The importance of national emblems was that they were a symbol of unity.

Mr Dikgacwi did not understand the arguments of the Democratic Alliance. They said that there should be a separation between sport and politics, and yet they had produced a political document on sport. On the issue of the Sports Indaba, the federations had come together and reminded government of decisions it had already taken. On the question of implementation, mechanisms should be worked out to deal with non-compliance and punishment. These were serious issues, and timeframes were needed. The dates for the memorial service and subsequent funeral of the Springbok emblem should be announced.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) said that the DA had been represented at the indaba by Mr Kobus Marais. He had not raised a counter view. Perhaps it was the DA which had lost its head on this matter. He moved a motion that the Committee should reaffirm its commitment to the King Protea as the emblem for all sports codes and to instruct SARU to stop using the Springbok illegally.

Gen Holomisa noted this motion. The issue had been summarised well but a decision could not be taken at this meeting. The Committee operated on the basis of consensus rather than forcing issues to the vote.

Mr Lee recommended that time be set aside to debate this issue fully.

Mr Louw proposed that the Committee handle the resolutions made at the Sports Indaba.

Mr B Solo (ANC) said that the discussion was developing in a particular direction. Ms Ntuli had said that no further debate was needed. He supported the motion moved by Mr Frolick.

The Chairperson agreed that the indaba resolutions should come to the Committee. He asked if SRSA had the capacity to deal with the resolutions. The responsibility of processing the resolutions lay with SRSA and could not be outsourced. The Springbok issue was on the table. Conflicting statements had been made. The Minister had clarified this conflict. If Members were unprepared for the debate, then the matter should not be reinvented. There would be further discussion. They needed to check on the Cabinet decision. There might in fact be nothing to discuss, and it was merely a question of implementing a decision.

Mr Frolick said that the Committee would simply be reaffirming the status quo. There was nothing new to be said. He asked if they would be reopening the debate because of a single non-compliant entity.

The Chairperson said that nobody was calling for a reopening of the debate. It was a matter of public discourse.

Mr Frolick said that this matter had nothing to do with the resolutions made in Durban. If Members had contrary views, then these should be put to the Committee. The Minister had provided credible information. He asked why federations should be allowed to do just as they pleased.

Mr Holomisa asked the Chairperson if he wished to reopen the discussion.

The Chairperson said that he did not wish to do so. He noted the dissenting views of the DA and UDM.

Mr B Dhlamini (IFP) said that time was needed. The intention was not to open the debate but the discussion should be taken further. It was a matter of social cohesion. The Springbok issue had not been on the agenda for this meeting.

The Chairperson took a vote. The proposal of Mr Frolick was accepted by a majority vote.

Mr Lee wanted to know what the exact wording of the resolution was. It went against the grain of what the Minister had said. Wider discussion was needed.

The Chairperson asked Mr Frolick to submit the resolution in writing. The motion had been carried but needed to be recorded. There was majority agreement.

Mr Frolick said that this was serious business. The honourable Members needed to apply their minds. He repeated the wording for Members whom he described as “slow”. The Committee reaffirmed that the King Protea must be the national emblem for all sports codes, and said that SARU was using the Springbok emblem illegally.

The Chairperson said that it was now up to the Minister to respond.

Min Stofile said that it was a pity that Gen Holomisa had temporarily left the meeting. He was shocked to learn that SRSA had outsourced the preparation of a document capturing the Sports Indaba resolutions. He was under the impression that SRSA would have done this themselves. Many countries would laugh at the situation in South Africa as there was no other country in the world where the various national teams did not use a common emblem. The impression was that rugby was a delinquent child. This had been manifested by the use of the old anthem and spectators displaying the old South African flag. These matters could lead to extreme attitudes. While in New Zealand he had seen a demonstration by a group called Women Against Rugby against the chauvinistic attitudes displayed by men.

He said that there were three issues which he wanted to address. The proof of ownership of the emblems by SRSA was there and was readily available. The decision to extend the life of the Springbok had not been a Cabinet decision. President Mandela had decided this after the country winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup in response to extensive lobbying. Much of this was based on the significance of the Springbok as a brand and a marketing tool. The Heraldry Board was responsible for determining national symbols such as the Blue Crane. This Board disseminated the administration and ownership matters pertaining to national symbols.

The Minister said that he had interrogated items listed as receivables in the Department’s financial report. It emerged that SARU owed money for royalties from the use of the Springbok. SARU was non-compliant and the matter had been turned over to the lawyers. The allegation that other federations were also not paying royalties was not relevant to this case.

The Chairperson said that there had been a message from within the Ministry to federations that they should not go to Parliament if invited. He referred to attempts by Mr Moss Mashishi of SASCOC to circumvent the Committee. Mr Mashishi had understood from sources within the Ministry that he should not appear before the Committee. This was a dangerous message.

Minister Stofile said that he had taken an oath to uphold the law. Government officials could not break the law. The non-attendance of federations was contempt of Parliament. Federations could not ask the Minister for guidance in this matter.

The Chairperson said that even members of the opposition parties had heard about this tendency. The Committee would manage the matter. He turned the meeting to the SRSA Annual Report.

Minister’s input on Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) Annual Report
The Minister was pleased to see the large number of SRSA officials present. He would leave it to the civil servants to present the report itself. He tabled some highlights of the previous year. Government had been applying a policy of transformation for fifteen years but there was still a long way to go. He felt that a ten-year cycle should be followed. The transformation of South Africa was not just a cliché, but a programme for the entire government. Sport and recreation was not a sacred cow.

He said that transformation was an essential component of development and excellence. The legacy of separation and racism had to be transformed. He did not agree with those liberal philosophers who said that market forces should guide the process. There had been a deliberate fragmentation of communities and a denial of resources. All children should have the same chances.

Minister Stofile said that South Africa’s performance at the Beijing Olympics had been described as the country’s worst performance since 1936. He reminded the meeting that a racist team had attended those Games and only represented a minority of the population. Stereotypes were being entrenched.

He introduced Mr “Cheeky” Watson, who was attending the meeting as an observer. He said that many potential national players still needed to be discovered. The swimming team at the Games had broken many African records, but some had asked why these should be celebrated given the overall mediocre results. Transformation was a fundamental tool for excellence. Without it the base of the pyramid could not be broadened. Unless the socio-economic circumstances of the country were changed, the unendowed would never make progress.

The Minister said that people still talked about the Holocaust sixty years after the end of the Second World War. Here people were accused of reverse racism. There would always be a right wing of reactionaries. In the United States of America such people had moved into the Ku Klux Klan. Reconciliation was a theological term. It required the efforts of people on both sides of the spectrum. President Mandela had tried his best to achieve it. People wanted to enjoy the fruits of reconciliation without making a contribution themselves. The cost of achieving a state of reconciliation was the loss of something of oneself. The late Anton Rupert had said “We can’t sleep if they don’t eat.” Government must make moves on the socio-economic front.

He said that SRSA needed to make a contribution towards generating employment. The training of volunteers went some way to achieving this. Broadcast houses had been urged to share the dividends of their success at grassroots level. The massification of sport would give opportunities to as many as possible. These programmes were being extended to include the elderly. Resources had been allocated but it was disappointing to see how many provinces were unable to spend their allocations. He understood that the worst provinces had been invited to attend this meeting to explain their lack of expenditure, and he was surprised to see officials from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

The Chairperson said that KZN had been invited as an example to the other provinces, and he hoped that their delegation could pass on some of the secrets of their success.

Minister Stofile continued that resources had to be distributed evenly. Provinces were either being lazy or were not serious about their work. They saw the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) as a decoration. He asked by SRSA could not rather retain funds and spend them where they were needed if the provinces were sleeping. This was the pillar of broadening the base of the pyramid.

He said that he had discussed the matter with officials. There was a move away from funding the federations. Some of them did not need financial assistance from government and were only using the funds for administration. In some cases the contribution made by government was dwarfed by the income from sponsorship and broadcast rights. Government funding should rather be spent at community level.

The Minister said that there was a need for funds allocated for sport facilities which had been redirected into the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) to be returned to the stewardship of SRSA. The former Building for Sport and Recreation Programme (BSRP) had incorporated a special poverty alleviation fund. The benefits must still go to the community. Wherever one went in the country, community facilities were non-existent or derelict. If the money was not transferred to the SRSA account, then the DORA grant should be channelled into specific programmes.

He said that the distribution of National Lottery funds had been the subject of one of the resolutions in Durban. This had not been captured by the media. Sports funding could not reside in the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) which managed the lottery. Sport was treated as an afterthought. There were vacancies in the distribution agency which had to be filled. Lottery money was not going where it was needed. In the year under review, huge contributions had been made to national teams. Money could not just be thrown into a black hole. Programmes were needed. He had not seen SASCOC raising money itself while the organisation relied on government’s millions.

Minister Stofile said that he queried the player assistance in terms of logistic funding. Geraldine Pillay had found herself stranded in Jamaica and the government had been forced to pay her expenses. The four-step theory of payments to athletes had to stop with a system of direct payments being introduced. Talented athletes had to be helped.

He said that South Africa had served as Africa’s representative on the World Anti-
Doping Agency (WADA) board for seven years. The country had played a significant role in policy development, interaction with the International Olympic Committee and public entities and within the regions and governments of the world. He touched on South Africa’s role in averting a catastrophe during an important meeting in Madrid. Congo-Brazzaville would now be Africa’s representative at WADA board level. South Africa had received a letter pleading it to retain its position which had been declined, but the country did pledge its assistance to the Congo and to Mauritius which would serve on the executive committee. He had also attended an historic meeting in Ghana with other African Ministers of Sport. This meeting had consolidated the Supreme Council of Sport for Africa. Structures had been synchronised. It had appeared that people were going crazy due to sentiment, ignorance and patronage.

The Minister said that there were challenges for the Acting Director-General (DG) of SRSA. Things had gone wrong with the previous DG. She had been appointed under probation but it had not been possible to confirm her status when this period was over. People would be amazed to read the documentation in this regard when it was declassified in the future. The situation had been included and the President would sign off the documentation that day. The legal status of her appointment was an example of bad law. If a person from within the civil service was appointed to another office but his or her probation was not confirmed, then that person was to return to the original position. However, often neither the original department nor the person involved wanted to follow this route, and the previous position might well have been filled in any event. It was an impractical situation. The President could redeploy civil servants, and the former DG had in fact been redeployed to the Department of Correctional Services.

He said that resources were a concern viewed against the under-expenditure by some entities. Not enough money was being given. The Department needed to sharpen its teen in deploying resources. Entities and provincial departments should rather make themselves guilty of over-expenditure than under-expenditure. This might be illegal in terms of the Public Finances Management Act (PFMA) but was the better moral course. He recognised the fact that where departments might be seen to be under their budgeted spending in October, this could change dramatically later in the financial year. This was due to the timing of seasonal activities which were the characteristic of sport.

Min Stofile said that there was still a legacy of racial prejudice. The country had not yet reached the stage where sport was played on the same basis as other countries. Government still had to look at integration. It was no good for South Africa to be world champions but still not to have an integrated society. Some training in this regard was being conducted in Cape Town.

Rev Stofile said that all politicians were known to interfere in sport. Sponsors also imposed a form of blackmail. A deciding factor was the control exercised over federations. Big business was generally not progressive and there was an unequal distribution of resources. The Big Five codes were the big culprits, hoarding money and not doing well in terms of integration. There should be respect for the role of Parliament. This Committee went out regularly to the community. As Minister he could not always follow up on issues, but they were always on his mind.

The Minister said that he had sent a letter to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to thank them for their scrutiny of the affairs of SRSA. Mr Lee was correct to say that the management of funds was a major issue. If departments were not accountable then the Committee must scrutinise SRSA and roast it if necessary. He urged the Committee not to spare the department officials, while not expecting them to do the impossible. It was not possible to build sports fields at every school. In some cases the schools were sited in such positions that this was simply impossible. However, there was a lack of integrated planning.

He said that the dti was amending the legislation regarding the distribution of lottery funds. They needed to consult SRSA in this regard. Government could build any number of houses, but if there were no sports facilities then this would lead to an increase in criminality.

Min Stofile said that the construction side of the 2010 World Cup programme was going well. However, he was concerned about the mass mobilisation aspect. He asked how many schools were getting 2010 flags, and how many taxis were being provided with posters. He felt that nothing was being done here, and an explanation was needed. Mr Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA, was satisfied with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Board. The recent Cabinet shuffle had not made any changes. A decision had been made in March 2005 that Ministers serving on the LOC would be appointed on an ex officio basis. The only real problem was the performance of the national football team.

Discussion
Mr Frolick said that Mr Dan Moyo, DG of SRSA’s 2010 Unit, had attended the ANC study group to answer questions on the mass mobilisation programme. This was a worry. The build-up for the Confederations Cup in 2009 had started. Mobilisation was not happening. He felt that taxi drivers would not display the posters in any event. Many had acquired Inyathi taxis under the recapitalisation programme, but these vehicles did not conform to FIFA standards. This would account for 90% of the vehicles. He asked what the situation was. The DG of the Department of Transport had said that these vehicles could not be used as part of the transport plan for the tournament, and this would have a huge impact on daily transport requirements over the period.

The Chairperson said that there were no recapitalisation taxis in the country. There was some confusion as the Inyathi vehicles were not in this category. The matter would first go to Cabinet. The momentum for 2010 was moving around the country and was starting to pick up momentum. An interdict had been issued in the Free State over naming rights for the stadium in Bloemfontein. This had come up during the debate on the Special Measures Bill as there was a loss in income.

Min Stofile said that there was an agreement between the LOC, the Cheetahs Rugby Union and the Manguang Municipality. The upgrade of the stadium would be beneficial to the Cheetahs, and the rugby body was taking a chance by questioning the process.

The Chairperson said that people knew about the issues at hand that day. One side of the argument was how sport had been profiled until the present. The other side was activism where the comrades all got involved on topical matters. Regarding SRSA, he said that the Department was doing well on the political side. It was not faring so well in other aspects.

Mr Komphela said that a memorandum to the Minister of Trade and Industries had proposed a change to lottery funding. A resolution at Polokwane was that sport funding should be removed from the current lottery distribution arrangements. The issue needed to be handled and funds had to be adjudicated. In respect of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), the Committee had not yet met with the new Minister. The issue had been dragging too long. Areas regarding constitutional amendments should be highlighted.

Ms Ntuli did not know what more could be done regarding reconciliation. She quoted another incident where a black spectator had been abused at a rugby match. It seemed that these incidents were one-sided. The Freedom Charter said that the country belonged to all who lived there. White people continued to abuse “white people” regarding sporting events. Sport should in fact be uniting the nation. She wanted to see unity. She agreed that funds allocated to federations should be withdrawn. A lot of issues had to be readdressed. Funds should be used for people who at present got nothing. She concurred on the MIG redistribution. She had served as a Councillor previously, and had seen how MIG funds were spent like any other grant in some provinces. This was not helping in the provision of sports facilities.

Mr Solo commented on the issue of mass mobilisation. He asked what the problem was between provincial and national departments. He was concerned about strategies. He wanted to see children participating in sport. Events were held in communities such as the campaign against violent abuse of women and children. At these events Members of Parliament were not taken into consideration. Councillors and provincial officials tended to disappear early in proceedings.

Mr Dikgacwi agreed that SRSA should rather be controlling the finance of the provincial departments and spending on their behalf. There were issues all over the country and Members had been asked to intervene. The Department complained that it had no money but it was there. Rugby had complained that they were always under discussion whenever the Committee met. This could not be helped as their modus operandi always drew the attention of politicians. The incident cited by Ms Ntuli was only reported in one newspaper. It was always black people being abused by whites. A reward of R10 000 had been offered, but the culprits would never be identified. The Committee must speak up.

The Chairperson said that SRSA could not decide alone on the allocation of resources to the federations. He had seen a list, and many of the smaller codes were run almost as a family business. Such codes had no mass base. Federations needed to offer a business plan so that they could be judged on their key performance areas (KPIs). A question was how they were creating jobs and to what extent they contributed towards poverty alleviation. It was not just a question of benevolence but was a matter of government policy. Even the MIG should be biased towards the poor.

Min Stofile said that he had directed SRSA to streamline the Mass Participation Programme (MPP) in two ways. Firstly, the MPP should be aligned with municipal demarcations. Sports authorities should know who was being targeted. Secondly, he wanted to see real mass participation. Officials often thought in a limited way. Everybody in the area should be targeted, including all age groups and community sport. Indigenous games had to be included. KZN had the right idea and he did not know why the other provinces were lagging. A festival approach was needed. The Chief Directors had to comply.

On the subject of racism, he said that older people must not poison the minds of the youth with their thinking. Sport alone could not solve this problem. Preachers and teachers had their part to play as well. In the USA, equal status for all had only been achieved about forty years previously. Apartheid was not the original source of racism. It could be traced back to Old Testament times. Black people could also be racist. The recent attacks ascribed to xenophobia only affected foreigners from Africa and not all foreigners. This was not xenophobia but racism. Only poor people like him were targeted.

The Minister said that people were shy to talk about this. He would continue to condemn all forms of racism in the strongest terms. The question of where to go to satisfy the needs of the community should be dealt with by the responsible Chief Director. He was not against the provinces, but was critical of the level of mismanagement. He had attended an event in Uitenhage and noticed how the provincial officials had disappeared.

He said that the lack of resources and business plans were delaying the transfer of funds to the federations. Simple things were not being done. The business plan was the basis for any allocation, but some federations did not comply. Other problems lay in authorisation and time frames. He agreed that funding should continue to the nineteen federations although he would prefer to see a minimum of 25 federations receiving funding. The rationale was that the federations had a large number of participants. For example, he would rather see funds going to netball rather than an elitist sport like golf. Equestrian sports were also more business than sport. The policy should not be cast in stone as there were many requests. There were also deserving cases of individuals asking for financial support. The SRSA wanted to form partnerships with deserving projects. One condition for the attainment of success in this regard would be increased funding from the MIG and National Lottery.

Afternoon session
Department of Sport and Recreation Annual Report briefing
The Chairperson said that the Auditor General (AG) had raised concerns about the 2006/07, and now the 2007/08, and perhaps even the 2005/06 financial reports. The Department had had a full year to respond to the issues raised previously. The Committee could not hold over the acceptance of the Annual Report until 2009 as there would be changes after the election. The Chairpersons of the different Portfolio Committees had to report to the Budget Committee, not the Minister. Budgets would be cut to what was likely to be spent considering past expenditure patterns. The National Treasury (NT) looked at the spending of national departments, not those of individual provinces. He did not know why provinces did not have internal budgets for sport.

Mr Makoto Matlala (Chief Financial Officer and Acting DG, SRSA) said that he would start the presentation with Programme One, which was the Office of the CFO. An audit steering committee had been established to follow-up on financial queries. The financial statements had been produced on schedule. All officials in the Department had signed the supply chain code of conduct. There had been no incidents of fraud or theft, but there were some incidents of non-compliance with procedures, especially in some urgent cases. Several remedial workshops had been held.

He said that critical vacancies had been addressed. An Asset Management Unit had been established during 2007. All assets had now been captured on the register. The Asset Register complied with the minimum requirements.

The CFO said that the budget had increased from approximately R450 million in the 2005/06 financial year (FY) to R5 billion in 2007/08. In 2005/06 the final expenditure was 95% of the budget and 92% in 2006/07, but had increased to 99.6% in 2007/08. There was some under spending in each of the programmes. He presented the figures for each aspect. All in all, 0.4% of the budget was returned to NT. One of the problems was transfer payments to the Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Educational and Training Authority (Theta). There had been a disagreement over the payment of royalties. Some of the programmes of SRSA had also been curtailed due to lack of personnel.

Mr Matlala said that the AG had expressed a qualified opinion. He went on to list the reasons for the qualified opinion. He outlined measures taken with the problem of asset control. Since 2002 some assets had been disposed of for R1, which was a nominal value. The Asset Register had been completed in August 2008. Many of these had been transferred from the former Sports Commission (SC). A second problem lay in the opening and closing balance of assets. This dated back to the 2004/05 FY. Since then only additional assets had been audited. They now had to audit the opening balance as it was in the 2004/05 FY.

Mr Matlala said that the next aspect of the qualified audit report related to payments to athletes. Athletes were paid a stipend. SRSA had an agreement with a service provider to make these payments but the AG was concerned about this. The Department had devised an action plan to make payments directly to athletes in future. Proof of receipt would be needed. A related aspect was receivables, which were mainly money received on royalties. These derived from the sale of clothing and other items with logos. A report had been received from the International Marketing Group (IMG). The AG could not verify information from IMG as no reports were submitted. The Department’s action plan was to collect money directly instead of using a third party. They did not have access to the books of the federations which were marketing such products. He said there were also several Emphases of Matter by the AG.

Discussion
The Chairperson asked how the 2004/05 opening balance for assets could be queried if the AG had let the matter rest for three years.

Gen Holomisa asked if SRSA had been given the opportunity to present the report, or had only been given an explanation of why the AG had reached this conclusion. He asked if they had been given an opportunity to explain the situation, or if they had gone to the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (SCOPA). Was the Committee merely being asked to take note of the problem?

Mr Matlala replied that during the current FY the standard of auditing had increased to require auditing of opening and closing balances. It was difficult to verify the position. The standard had been introduced in March 2008, but the report was due in February already. They were now busy reconciling the balances.

Gen Holomisa asked if it was the AG or SRSA that was being tardy. It seemed to him that there was no procedure to reconcile the books. He wondered how the AG could be so careless.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would take note of the situation. In 2004/05 only the balance of assets had to be audited but the standard had changed later. He asked if SRSA had engaged with the AG when this happened. There was now a three year backlog.

Mr Matlala said that they had discussed the issue with the AG each time. The audit committee was also involved. They were all aware of the standard.

Mr Dikgacwi asked if all persons were advised when the standard changed.

Mr Matlala said that a circular had been issued in about March 2008. This was while the books were being closed for the FY.

Ms Ntuli asked if this was an exceptional case for SRSA or if it was applied across the board to all government departments.

The Chairperson wondered if that was not an unfair situation. The books had already been audited.

The Chairperson then asked why the AG was querying royalty payments on the basis of the IMG article. There was no proof if these figures were correct or not.

Mr Matlala said that an investigation had been made into the payment of 8% bonuses. The total amount involved was R1.4 million. These would be recovered from the recipients. This would also be done with those who had received transitional allowances. The relevant amount here was R1.8 million. Money paid out for unused leave would be recovered from those concerned. NT had been asked to condone the R2 million payment to Boxing South Africa (BSA). The same applied to the R1 million which was given to the Women’s World Cup of Golf (WWCOG). All of these incidents amounted to R6.7 million.

The Chairperson said that he had not heard enough of an explanation of the R2 million which went to BSA. This had not yet been paid.

Gen Holomisa said that all of these expenses could perhaps be justified, but did not have approval from NT. A department could not spend more than R500 000 without authority from NT.

Ms Alison Burchell (CD Client Services, Liaison, Events & Facilities, SRSA) explained that the grant to BSA in the last FY was R1.9 million. BSA had told SRSA that they were struggling in the previous FY, and had asked for their funding to be fast-tracked. The annual transfer had been made in September 2007. However, they then made an additional request for R2 million in February 2008 to pay off their debts. This would enable them to get back on track. The AG said that SRSA was obliged to pay this, and SCOPA had issued an instruction in this regard. Therefore BSA had been given a total of R3.9 million in the FY. The problem was where they would find the funding, as it was in a different economic classification. SRSA had decided to take the money from their goods and services budget instead of the normal transfer budget. The permission of the AG was needed for this.

The Chairperson said that if this was an instruction from SCOPA then it should be reflected in the report.

Gen Holomisa asked if they had written to NT in this regard.

Mr Matlala replied they had written to NT. The AG had instructed that this transaction be disclosed under transfer payments, but this was not condoned by NT.

Mr Louw asked what the facts were, and why the AG was querying it. He asked why SRSA was tiptoeing around the issue.

Mr Matlala said that the R2 million had been paid from the goods and services account without needing NT’s permission. The DG could sign off this amount. If it were to have been paid from the transfer account then the NT would have had to given approval. The money was used to pay a debt to the South African Revenue Service (SARS). However, as the money was being given to a public entity it should be a transfer payment.

The Chairperson said that he wanted to be part of the process should SRSA be called to account to SCOPA.

Mr Louw concluded that the transfer to BSA had been done without permission.

On the Chairperson’s request, Mr Matlala repeated the explanation given earlier.

Mr Komphela asked by NT could not correct the AG.

Mr Matlala said that the BSA books would show that they had received a transfer payment of R3.9 million during the FY.

Ms Burchell said that when SCOPA had given the directive then by definition the money could not be taken from the transfer account. These funds were ring fenced. They had to find it elsewhere. Guidelines were needed.

Gen Holomisa accepted that there were problems in the Department. The 8% bonuses had been paid in the previous year’s budget. He asked if NT had approved these. He asked why the appropriation for the golfing event. He asked if this was a political directive. Some funds had been earmarked for development, but they seemed not to have budget for the golfing event. He asked if SRSA had budgeted the R1 million to support this tournament or if it had been arranged at short notice. Regarding the promotional items he asked if SRSA were now pressing the panic button.

Mr Louw said that the AG must be aware of the situation. If so, it was out of order to raise a query in the Annual Report.

The Chairperson said that the AG was aware but still created a query. The funds to BSA must be reflected as a transfer payment. The current situation satisfied SRSA’s audit requirements but not those of BSA. The money was needed to pay an income tax liability.

Mr Matlala said that this was a special request. SRSA had always been a patron of the WWCOG. The contribution had been paid from the budget for promotional items and gifts. Any such spending of over R100 000 had to be appropriated by the EADQ.

The Chairperson asked which argument would win the day.

Mr Matlala replied that SRSA and the organisers of the WWCOG were partners.

The Chairperson appreciated the need for strategic partnership, but asked what the source of the funds was.

Mr Matlala said that it was part of the business plan.

The Chairperson said that SRSA would have had sight of the business plan for the WWCOG. He asked if this had not been costed.

Mr Matlala replied that the business plan quoted a lump sum rather than detailed costs.

Mr Louw said that the WWCOG was an event which took place on a regular basis. This transfer looked to be the result of an arbitrary decision without any plan. He asked why, if it was in the business plan, that the planning had only started at the beginning of the tournament.

The Chairperson concluded that SRSA was saying that the intent to fund the tournament was in the business plan. He asked if this was envisaged in the plan or whether the organisers had woken up at the last moment.

Mr Matlala said that this was a regular partnership. SRSA made an annual contribution to the tournament. It was in the business plan together with sponsorships. SRSA considered their role as being that of a partnership. The AG thought that it should be seen as a sponsorship rather, and should be treated as a donation.

The Chairperson said that the Committee needed a representative from the AG to provide an input at the meeting the following day. Mixed messages were being sent out. He was getting the impression that the AG was deliberately creating queries. The AG said that of the 52 entities his office had audited, 48 had disclaimers. What the AG did not say was that he might be part of the problem.

Mr Louw asked if the AG had explained why the contribution to the WWCOG should be classed as a donation.

Mr Matlala said that two items on the books were the basis of the qualified opinion. The Department could handle the Emphases of Matter identified by the AG.

Mr Louw asked whether the AG would have raised the query if SRSA’s relationship with WWCOG were regarded as a partnership.

Mr Dikgacwi said that the AG representative should be able to clear everything up.

The Chairperson needed to get an understanding of the situation.

Mr Dikgacwi noted that the Committee’s efforts to achieve this were being blocked at present.

Ms Ntuli asked if there was a written agreement.

Mr Matlala replied that the AG would identify disputes and call meetings.

Gen Holomisa said that there could be collusion with organisations. He asked how SRSA could have proof that funds allocated were used correctly.

Ms Burchell said that SRSA was in an organisational process to find sponsors for the event. SRSA representatives monitored the event and requested a report and financial statements after the events. They would not also ask to see receipts for goods and services.

The Chairperson said that the old format was open for corruption. The gaps in the system were being closed.

Mr Louw was surprised to hear that SRSA had not had sight of the receipts. This was a serious matter.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would recommend that tighter controls be instituted. He asked if the performance bonuses were based on the work done during the 2006/07 FY. He asked why it had taken so long to deal with this matter.

Mr Dikgacwi noted that the investigation was complete but they were waiting for the report. He asked why this was being delayed. He suspected someone was still cooking the books.

The Chairperson said that there was an opinion from Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi that the bonuses should not have been paid. The DG had sent a submission to the Minister for the payment of the bonuses, but this had not been approved. A second approach was made and was approved on that occasion. The Minister had gone to the Department of Public Service Administration and it was clear that these bonuses could not be paid. Someone had passed the buck.

Mr Matlala said that the investigation had been partially to identify which official should be charged for misconduct in this case.

The Chairperson said that the former DG Prof Denver Hendricks had signed the request. The second signatory was Dr Joe Phaahla.

Mr Matlala said that both these persons had since left the Department’s employ. He had not yet seen the report, but it would go to the Executive.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would defend the recipients of these bonuses. It was not their fault. Innocent people could not be punished as if they were thieves.

Gen Holomisa hoped that the report would show the process that had been followed up to the CD level. It had then gone to the DG for approval. He asked if the correct channels had been followed to grant the bonuses.

Mr R le Roux (Acting CD: Corporate Services, SRSA) said that the bonuses had been negotiated in a forum with the trade unions. There was no system in place. An 8% across the board bonus had been recommended for all staff in positions of up to Level 12. He had not been personally involved at the time. He understood that the letter mentioned was only regarding members above Level 12.

The Chairperson said that when the report was compiled, they should have tried to sort out what had transpired.

Mr le Roux said that this was the case. They had gone to human resources. The staff involved would have to pay these bonuses back. The unions did not agree with this opinion but the state law advisors (SLAs) did think they should be repaid.

The Chairperson asked if it was a problem for the staff to repay the money.

Mr le Roux said that a two-prong process had been followed. Staff had been informed that they should not have received these bonuses. Certain managers had been investigated and would be charged if appropriate.

The Chairperson said that the Committee needed to know what the real cost was. People had misled the Minister.

Gen Holomisa was interested to know what the legal opinion would be if the employees challenged SRSA’s expectation of their repaying the money.

Mr Dikgacwi said it was clear that staff members had not stolen the money. The matter had been dragging out for two years already.

Mr le Roux understood that the initial issue had been referred to the SLAs. The legal opinion was that the staff should repay the bonuses and that the person who had wrongly authorised the payment should be charged.

The Chairperson instructed Mr le Roux to get a copy of the legal opinion. It seemed completely flawed.

Mr le Roux said that this was one of the reasons why the DG had got an outside company to prepare the report. The risk manager would submit a report to the Minister.

Ms Ntuli asked if staff representatives were also involved in the process of awarding the bonuses.

Mr le Roux said that two unions had been involved in the bargaining chamber. There was no reversion to the staff when the first request had been rejected.

The Chairperson observed that the staff had probably laughed all the way to the bank.

Mr Louw said that the staff had been told to repay the bonuses and this was correct. The responsible management should be punished. There were no controls in the Department and no guidelines. This was a government department and not a tuck shop. All employees were learned in their different fields. The political head had to shoulder the blame. This was the Minister.

The Chairperson said that the submission had been signed by the DG at the time. The Minister was the last to sign it.

Mr le Roux said that the report would be forwarded to the Minister together with supporting documents.

The Chairperson said that from the origin there was a misleading process.

Mr Dikgacwi said that in the bonus procedure, the Minister had made it clear that he had interacted with the Minister responsible for the Public Service. She had expressed an opinion that bonuses should not be paid. It was therefore incorrect to hold the Minister of Sport and Recreation responsible.

The Chairperson agreed that the Minister went to get an opinion on the issue.

Gen Holomisa asked that before the Minister was exonerated, it should be determined if this was the first time this had happened. If it had happened before, he wanted to know how that procedure had unfolded.

The Chairperson asked if the bonuses in the 2006/07 FY were the first.

Mr le Roux said that most of the staff had been members of the SC. There was no system in place. He could not answer regarding the procedures followed by SRSA before their amalgamation with the SC.

Mr Dan Moyo (2010 Co-ordinator, SRSA) said that all the staff came from bodies where performance agreements were in place. When SRSA and the SC amalgamated, the Department had already paid its staff transitional allowances. The SC had put pressure on the union. There had been no deviation from procedure.

The Chairperson said they would get a copy of the legal opinion and determine who should take the blame. The process of recovery of payments should be conducted in a humane manner. The transitional allowances had been marked as unauthorised expenditure. An audit query had been raised. The Committee could call for an enquiry. The process should be thoroughly explained. He asked what the circumstances were surrounding the payment for unused leave.

Mr Matlala said that in June 2007 members were paid out for unused leave. This was only applicable to those whose application for leave had been declined.

The Chairperson said that no record had been kept of these refusals.

Mr Moyo said that two officials had been affected. A motivation had been written, and some staff had opted to take the money.

The Chairperson asked who had given permission in this case.

Mr Moyo said the staff members were basically paying each other.

The Chairperson said this matter must be visited. He then asked what the background was to the expenditure of R675 000 on promotional items.

Mr Manase Makwela (Director: Marketing & Communication, SRSA) said that this item was more relevant to the MPP.

Gen Holomisa said that the Acting DG should respond to this.

Mr Matlala said that this expenditure related to a mass mobilisation project under Programme Three. The body involved was the Seventh Day Adventist Student Association (SDASA).

The Chairperson said that this did not seem to be an unreasonable amount, but the AG had deemed it unauthorised expenditure.

Mr Frolick asked what the Seventh Day Adventist Church had to do with the MPP. Mr Louw agreed.

Gen Holomisa asked what the real query was.

Mr Matlala replied that the DG had realised that some promotional items had been procured for a youth festival in Cape Town. This had not been included in the Department’s business plan and was therefore unauthorised. An investigation had been undertaken. He did not know if the Minster was involved but he had been scheduled to address the rally. A sports day was a part of the event.

Ms Kelly Mkhonto (Director: Community Sport, SRSA) said that the amount was in fact budgeted for and was on the business plan. Support for this event was seen as a contribution to the moral regeneration movement as it was a church organisation. All Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries were involved. There had been some problems. A submission had been written to the Minister. The accounting officer and the Minister had both approved the expenditure. The Department had never been consulted by the AG when flagging this issue. They had planned to work with the Zionist Christian Church youth movement, but this had been put on hold. She was yet to see the report.

Gen Holomisa asked why the AG had queried this expense if it had been approved. This question had not been answered. He asked if there was any correspondence received from the AG.

Mr Matlala said that the query related to the transportation of books and had therefore been deemed unauthorised. The risk management section would have to pass the report on to the AG.

Mr Louw said that it was sometimes what was not said that was important. Ms Mkhonto had given some background which did not answer the question. He asked who in SRSA had links with the body. Something was wrong. He proposed that there should be a formal investigation to make it clear that no one in the Department was favouring this group.

Mr Dikgacwi appreciated the links to the moral regeneration campaign and SADC, but felt that these were neither here nor there.

Gen Holomisa should rather request the CD of the relevant section to provide a copy of the motivation at the meeting the following day.

The Chairperson asked what motivation had been offered in making the purchases.

Mr Makwela said that his unit supported other units. If this were not their own project, then they would not have made the purchases themselves. It fell under the MPP Directorate.

Gen Holomisa said that the key was the founding document. This could trigger another debate. SRSA should stick to the norms and standards of administration.

The Chairperson asked if the motivation had not been signed by the DG.

Ms Burchell replied that there had been an internal investigation. The report would be produced but it would not mention the religious affiliations of the members of SRSA.

The Chairperson said they should concentrate on the system. This was unauthorised expenditure. He asked for what the transitional allowance was paid.

Mr Matlala said that during the amalgamation process some senior levels had been appointed to higher level positions and were thus entitled to higher salaries. The transitional allowance was paid to balance their remuneration while salaries and posts were finalised.

The Committee then turned its attention to Provincial Spending of Conditional Grants for Sport. It started with a briefing on expenditure patterns in Limpopo Province. This has been incorporated into the 22 October report which dealt with Provincial Spending.

Meeting adjourned.

 

Present

  • We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: